Did you know that urinary tract infections are the cause of just over 8 million trips to a healthcare provider by women in the U.S. each year? You’ve likely experienced the wrath of a UTI — that burning, itching, uncomfortable sensation that makes you want to curl up in a ball and never leave your bed. Some women get them a lot worse than others, and some more frequently than others as well. What causes these frustrating, painful infections? While our body’s immune system generally does a good job at keeping away infections, those pesky germs sometimes still sneak through. A UTI is caused by bacteria (usually e. coli) that enters the urethra, sticks to the bladder wall and multiplies. The infection begins in the lower urinary tract, where the urethra and bladder are found, the areas that control urine in the body. Common symptoms of a UTI are pelvic pain, burning with urination, and an urgent or frequent need to urinate.
While women are the most likely to contract a UTI, men and children of all ages can also get them. Women are the most at risk because their urethra is much shorter than men’s, and the opening is much closer to the anus, which means that bacteria has a shorter distance to travel between the two areas on a woman than it does on a man. Other risk factors include being sexually active, as sexual intercourse can actually push bacteria into the urethra; being older and having gone through menopause, as lower levels of estrogen affect the levels of healthy, infection-fighting bacteria in the body; using diaphragms or spermicide-coated condoms; having trouble urinating, which can promote bacterial growth; having a kidney stone, or in men, an enlarged prostate; having diabetes or a weakened immune system; having prior UTIs; and using a catheter or having undergone a recent surgery or medical procedure involving the urinary tract.
Thankfully, there are many doctor-approved ways to avoid UTIs that Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, both agrees with and recommends. These are important women’s health tips to follow if you want to prevent yourself from experiencing these common infections.
First and foremost, the most basic way to rid your body of bacteria in the bladder is by flushing it out before it can really set it and do its damage. Make sure to drink plenty of water, and if you need to go to the bathroom, don’t hold it in! Staying hydrated will help get you on a regular urination pattern, which will never allow bacteria to sit in the bladder and urinary tract for too long. This next tip may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many women don’t know to do this: wipe from front to back. The bacteria that most often causes a UTI is commonly found around the anus. Wiping from back to front, especially after a bowel movement, could bring along some severely unwanted friends. Stay away from any kind of feminine product that could be irritating too, such as douches, deodorant sprays, and scented powders.
It’s also important to make sure you wash before engaging in sexual intercourse, and urinate right afterward. Your method of birth control could also have an affect on whether or not you get a UTI. Diaphragms, spermicide or spermicide-lubricated condoms can all contribute to bacterial growth. If you experience frequent UTIs, consider switching to another birth control, and use a water-based lubricant if you suffer from any vaginal dryness.
If you are looking for an obgyn in Plantation, Dr. Ghea is available to see patients at Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn office. You can make an appointment by calling 954-473-2011 or using the request form online. Dr. Ghea is a Fort Lauderdale obstetrician with over 15 years of experience in the industry and a passion for bringing awareness to women’s health.
There comes a time in a woman’s life when childbirth and menstrual cycles are behind them, and while it might sound absolutely great to not have to worry about that annoying monthly friend’s visit, menopause can also be a scary thought. Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop making estrogen, the hormone that controls the menstrual cycle, and signifies the end of a woman’s reproductive years. This commonly happens around the age of 51, but the signs and symptoms can begin long before then. This is known as perimenopause, a time when women in their 30’s and 40’s may experience significant changes in their menstrual cycle such as shorter or longer cycles, a lighter or heavier blood flow, or maybe even no blood flow at all, as well as hot flashes, problems sleeping, and changes in the vagina and urinary tract such as vaginal dryness that causes pain during sex, increased occurrence of vaginal infections, more frequent urination, and increased risk of urinary tract infections.
Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Plantation, is here to help you navigate your way through perimenopause and menopause without worry. As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding area, she understands the importance of providing patients with the best women’s health tips on what to expect when it comes to menopause, and how to handle this intimate and personal transition in your life.
We’ve all heard a woman distressingly announce that she is going through menopause, and whether we are going through the same stage or not, it’s women-code to do and say whatever you can to help alleviate her discomfort. Some women may not experience any symptoms, some may only experience them slightly, and some severely. Thankfully, there are safe and effective ways to help relieve the symptoms of both perimenopause and menopause.
One of the most common treatments is hormone therapy, which involves taking a combination of estrogen and progestin; however, note that women who have had a hysterectomy cannot take the progestin, and would simply take the estrogen on its own. Estrogen comes in several forms, including pills, patches, gels and sprays; it can be taken separately or combined with progestin in the same pill or patch. Estrogen therapy, with or without progestin, is the best treatment for relief from hot flashes and night sweats, two of the most common symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause. It also helps relieve vaginal dryness, protects against the bone loss that occurs during early menopause, helps to prevent hip and spine fractures, and, when coupled with progestin, it also reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Some women may be uncomfortable with taking hormones, and in those cases there are many other options available. Antidepressants can help with hot flashes; and the anti seizure medication, Gabapentin, and blood pressure medication, clonidine, both help with hot flashes and sleep problems. Those looking for a more natural remedy can find relief in plants and herbs such as soy, black cohosh and other Chinese herbs; however, it is recommended that you speak with your healthcare provider before taking this route.For quick and easy relief, over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers and lubricants are a big help with the vaginal dryness and painful intercourse that women experience during menopause.
Now that we’ve given you the tools you need to help handle your perimenopause and menopause symptoms, there is no reason to fret during this emotional stepping stone in life. The best thing for you to do is to find an obgyn you can trust and feel comfortable around. If you are looking for a Fort Lauderdale obstetrician, Dr. Ghea sees patients at Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn practice. Appointments can be made by calling 954-473-2011 or online.
You thought those awful acne-filled teenage years were long gone, didn’t you? Unfortunately, acne is often an unpleasant side effect of pregnancy for many women. Just as it did back when you were that awkward thirteen-year-old, it comes upon us suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere. Even those who were lucky enough to evade the acne days of their youth may still see pesky pimples pop up during pregnancy. These changes in the skin are caused by the changes in hormones that occur during pregnancy. Health care providers may not always be able to determine the exact cause, which can be frustrating especially when there are many other emotional and physical changes going on in the mind and body at the same time.
Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, is ready and available to address any of your concerns while dealing with pregnancy-induced acne. She can offer the best of the best in women’s health tips to get you through this uncomfortable skin condition, as sometimes it can actually be pretty painful. Skin problems are the last thing a pregnant woman should need to deal with. Thankfully, there are many treatment options, most of which can easily be taken care of right at home without visiting a doctor or disrupting your day-to-day routine.
First and foremost, make sure to wash your face at least twice daily with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water. Washing your hair every day is also important, as well as keeping it away from your face, especially if it’s oily. As tempted as you may be to pick at or squeeze the pimples or sores, do not do this. It can cause scarring which could potentially look worse than the acne itself. If you wear makeup, look for products that are oil-free — and again, be sure to wash your face at the end of the day to ensure all makeup product has been taken off. If these simple at-home tips are not enough, over-the-counter products, such as those containing topical benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, topical salicylic acid or glycolic acid, are safe to use during pregnancy.
As far as prescription acne medication goes, there are some that should be avoided at all costs, as they can be harmful to the baby. You should steer clear of any medications that block specific hormones, as these can increase the risk of birth defects. Another medication to avoid is isotretinoin, a form of vitamin A that could cause severe birth defects in fetuses such as intellectual disabilities or life-threatening heart and brain defects. You should also stay away from oral tetracyclines, an antibiotic that can cause discoloration of the baby’s teeth if it is taken after the fourth month of pregnancy. It also can affect bone growth in the baby for as long as it’s taken. Topical retinoids are also forms of vitamin A like isotretinoin, but because it is topical and therefore applied on the skin rather than taken orally, the amount absorbed by the body is low. It is still recommended that use of this kind of medication be avoided during pregnancy however.
The moral of the story when it comes to medicinal treatment while pregnant is to always read labels and know exactly what is going into your body. You are growing another human being inside there, and it’s important to make sure you are just as aware of the effects a medication has on your baby, as you are aware about its effects on yourself.
Pregnancy is a major life event, and with that comes many side effects and symptoms that you may not know the underlying cause of, have questions about, or need treatment advice. Dr. Ghea, an obgyn in Plantation, has the answers for you. Keeping her patients informed and knowledgeable about things going inside and on their bodies, such as acne during pregnancy, is her job as a Fort Lauderdale obstetrician and she takes care to do it well.
Ladies, there is one thing you will carry with you for your entire life: your health. If you don’t have your health and happiness, what do you have? Sometimes as women in a nurturing and caregiving role, you often put your own health on the backburner, taking the time to make sure everyone else is doing okay, but forgetting to take a good look at how you’re doing. Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Plantation, stresses the importance of taking a “time-out” for you and doing the things that help you feel better, inside and out.
Your primary care doctor isn’t always available to answer some of the burning questions you have as a women or give you the kind of specialized advice you need. In addition, you may feel more comfortable discussing your health with another woman, and a female obgyn is just the right person to make sure you’re on the correct path to a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some of Dr. Ghea’s five best women’s health tips for caring for yourself as a woman:
- Manage your stress. Most women are constantly juggling a million different things, which results in tons of unwanted stress. With stress comes consequences, such as high risks of depression, anxiety and heart disease, and even infertility. Meditation is a great way to lessen the stress of everyday trials and tribulations. Click here for a simple 10-minute exercise adapted from Why Meditate?, a book by Matthieu Ricard, PhD, a scientist, humanitarian, and Buddhist monk.
- Get in your exercise. According to WebMD, women need a mix of cardio and resistance or weight training at least three to five times per week in order to help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Exercising on a regular basis not only helps you physically, but mentally as well. You’ll find that you wake up in the morning with more energy, focus more clearly, and feel better about yourself in general. Your workout doesn’t have to last hours and hours; in fact, just ten minutes of exercise can burn up to 100 calories and boost your energy level by 18%. If you can’t make it to the gym or do a workout at home, make a promise to yourself to get up and walk around for at least ten minutes every day. It’ll make a world of difference in the long run.
- On that same note, keep your exercise from getting boring. No one ever got ahead by doing the same thing over and over again. The same theory applies to exercise. Try out different types of fitness classes, such as indoor cycling. Did you know that one 45-minute cycling class can burn more than 500 calories? Keep things fresh and interesting by incorporating new exercises into your routine or increasing the weight or resistance on ones you already know. Little tweaks here and there can make a huge difference. Prevention suggests creating what they call a “Wildcard Workout Jar” in which you write down 20 unique routines on pieces of papers and pull one from the jar every time your current workout starts to feel, well, blah.
- Don’t ignore your doctor’s visits. As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding area, Dr. Ghea cannot stress enough the importance of making sure to schedule your yearly check-up with your gynecologist. There are critical needs for seeing an obgyn, such as getting a pap smear every three years to check for cervical cancer, getting an HPV test and testing for STDs if you are sexually active. An obgyn can also address issues like whether or not you need contraception, which, along with preventing pregnancy, can also lower the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer, and regulate your cycle. Visiting your obgyn also allows you to talk about fertility issues. According to WebMD, a woman’s fertility could start to decline as early as 32. There are options, like freezing eggs, if you are worried about this happening to you and definitely want to have children.
- Eat healthy, but don’t deprive yourself. The phrase to remember here is everything in moderation. Don’t deprive yourself of the things you want, as that will only make you unhappy. Get in a mix of lean protein, healthy fats, smart carbohydrates and fiber and you’ll be good to go. There are a few things to take note of, however, when choosing food and beverage products, such as salt. According to Prevention, up to 75% of salt in our diets comes from packaged foods. Make sure to note the sodium content on the product labels before you make a purchase. The recommended salt intake is below 1,500 mg per day. Speaking of label reading, it’s a good idea to do this on a regular basis. Don’t trust everything you see on the front of a package; those are marketing techniques. Instead, look closely at the nutrition facts and ingredient list to see exactly what’s in the item you’re about to buy.
There are just a few of Dr. Ghea’s tips for leading a healthy lifestyle. She may be a Fort Lauderdale obstetrician, but Dr. Ghea has the best interest of all women from all over the world in mind. If you are looking for a Plantation obgyn, you can make an appointment with Dr. Ghea at Westside OB/GYN Group by calling 954-473-2011.
Exercise is an important aspect of staying fit and healthy both physically and mentally, and while a lot of women participate in fitness classes and work out on their own on a regular basis, there seems to be a sense of nervousness that pregnant women hold inside, keeping them from exercising for fear of hurting their baby. But guess what, ladies? This is an old wives tale, a myth…fake news. Working out during pregnancy is actually healthy for both you and your baby, as long as you are following your health care provider’s orders and paying close attention to what kinds of exercising you are performing, and how you feel while performing them.
Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Plantation, gives the go-ahead to her patients who want to continue exercising during their pregnancy. Exercise is not only for your own health, but also for the baby’s health and your own peace of mind.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology offers its best women’s health tips on exercising during pregnancy. First and foremost, if you are worried about exercising causing any harm to you or your baby, you can rest easy. Physical activity does not increase the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or even early delivery. You just may have to adjust your routine to make sure it includes pregnancy-friendly exercises. For example, types of exercise to avoid include hot yoga or pilates, which could cause you to become overheated, any type of contact sport where there is a chance of being hit in the abdomen, and activities such as skiing, surfing, gymnastics, horseback riding and off-road cycling that could result in a bad fall. However, it’s perfectly fine to engage in brisk walking, swimming and water aerobics, stationary bicycling, and modified yoga and pilates. If you are an experienced runner, talk to your healthcare provider about how to safely continue throughout your pregnancy.
As with anyone, pregnant or not, participating in physical fitness, there are always precautions to take. It is especially important as a pregnant woman, however, to drink plenty of water before, during, and after working out. Having the right support is also crucial — and we don’t mean from your friends and family, we mean from your sports bra. You can even wear a belly support belt to reduce discomfort while walking and running. Avoid exercises that put you on your back or involve standing motionless as much as you can, as both of these positions can decrease the amount of blood flow to your heart, resulting in decreased blood pressure for a short time.
Women who continue to exercise regularly during their term can experience a multitude of benefits, including reduced back pain, decreased constipation, decreased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and c-section delivery, improved overall general fitness, and strengthening of the heart and blood vessels. It also promotes healthy weight gain during pregnancy, and is a big aid in weight loss after you’ve given birth.
As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding area, Dr. Ghea advises to pay close attention to your body and how you are feeling while exercising. If you start to feel dizzy or faint, show signs of shortness of breath before even starting exercise, or experience chest pain, headaches, muscle weakness, and calf pain or swelling, it’s time to take a break. More severe signs include bleeding or leaking fluid from the vagina or having regular and painful contractions of the uterus.
Let Fort Lauderdale obstetrician, Dr. Ghea, take the fear out of exercising during pregnancy. She is available to answer your questions and provide details and directions for a safe work out regimen. For those looking for a Plantation obgyn, please call Westside OB/GYN Group at 954-473-2011 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ghea, or simply request online.